Director: Paul Feig
“Far from a frothy chick flick, Bridesmaids has a free wheeling, punky attitude, aided by its Blondie-influenced soundtrack and the performers’ knack for improvisation.” (940, Simon Ward, 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die)
Now I said in my last review of Bridesmaids when it was nominated at the 2012 Oscars that while I enjoyed it immensely I didn’t find it as laugh out loud funny as I was expecting it to be. I stand by part of that statement – it wasn’t as funny as I expected it to be … or as it was advertised to be. After all it was marketed as the female equivalent of The Hangover (2009, Todd Philips) However having now watched it again I have realized that I don’t enjoy it all that much. The comedy is just a bit too base and crude for me. Somehow, and I’m well aware of how sexist this is going to sound, it’s easier and more acceptable for men to be crude and vulgar in their humor. There are a number of occasions when I cringe and feel uncomfortable during this film and for me that does not make for a good comedy. It is possible to do lower humor well, American Pie (1999, Paul Weitz) is an excellent example, but I have found with a lot of recent comedies that they take the “humor” too far.
“The movie is a foul-mouthed but surprisingly affecting recession-era romantic comedy about friends: a woman in the midst of an early mid-life crisis while her best friend is supposed to be having the happiest time of her life.” (940) The core relationship between Annie and Lillian (Maya Rudolph) is one every girl can relate to. And as an extension of that so is the intrusion of the perfect, shiny, new friend, played here so wonderfully by Rose Byrne. Her Helen is so sickeningly perfect and determined in her systematic undermining of Annie that you can’t help but relate to Annie.
Chris O’Dowd once again brings his quiet understated comedy with him providing a sense of normality to an increasingly crazy set of events. He’s not necessarily your typical leading man, normally that would be John Hamm, and yet he is exactly what the film, and Annie (Kristen Wiig), needs. He has a stabilizing influence on the film. Hamm on the other hand is just as crazy as any of the others and a particularly unpleasant character. It’s certainly a departure from his suave character that made him a household name in Mad Men (2007 -, Matthew Weiner)
I also stand by my statement in my previous review that by far the funniest character was Melissa McCarthy‘s Megan, and her Oscar nomination was well deserved. Megan, while being crass and at times just downright revolting, is also the sweetest and most caring character in the film. She is the only one that sees what a hard time Annie is having, of all her friends, and goes out of her way to pull her out of the funk she is currently wallowing in.
Annie and Lillian come across as real friends. Some of the stuff they say to each other is outrageous but very true to the way girls are not only friends but also the way they fight with each other. While the film is billed as a rom-com what it really boils down to is a buddy movie between Annie and Lillian. Everyone else is just added scenery.